Raised in West Virginia
Worked as advertising copywriter for W B Doner and Company in Detroit, MI
Joined Doyle, Dane, Bernbach Advertisers in Los Angeles, CA; wrote and submitted screenplays at the same time
Worked as a freelance screenwriter
Sold first screenplay, "The Bodyguard"; remained unproduced until 1992 when it starred Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston; reportedly written as a Steve McQueen vehicle originally (date approximate)
His screenplay for "Continental Divide" caught the attention of Steven Spielberg who introduced Kasdan to George Lucas; hired by Lucas to work on first screenplay filmed, "The Empire Strikes Back" (which Kasdan took over when screenwriter Leigh Brackett died)
Penned "Raiders of the Lost Ark", the first installment of the Indiana Jones series, for producer Lucas and director Speilberg
Directorial debut, "Body Heat"
With Lucas, co-wrote the third installment of the "Star Wars" series, "The Return of the Jedi"
Executive produced first film "The Big Chill" (also director and co-screenwriter); earned first Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay
Produced first film, "Silverado" (also director and co-writer)
Played Second Detective in John Landis' "Into the Night"
Produced first film that he did not direct or write, "Cross My Heart", directed by Armyan Bernstein
Co-wrote, co-produced and directed "The Accidental Tourist", starring William Hurt, Geena Davis and Kathleen Turner; earned Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay
Served as executive producer on first film he did not direct or script, "Immediate Family", directed by Jonathan Kaplan
Directed first film that he did not co-write, "I Love You to Death"
Produced, directed and co-wrote (with wife Meg) "Grand Canyon"; received fourth Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay
His script for "The Bodyguard" finally produced as vehicle for Costner and Whitney Houston
Produced, directed and co-scripted (with Dan Gordon) "Wyatt Earp", starring Costner in the title role
Stage directing debut, John Patrick Shanley's "Four Dogs and a Bone"
Helmed (only) "French Kiss", starring Meg Ryan (one of the producers), Kevin Kline and Timothy Hutton
Portrayed Dr Green in James L Brooks' "As Good As It Gets"
Produced "Home Fries", starring Drew Barrymore, Jake Busey and Shelley Duvall